Pathfinder Player Companion: Martial Arts Handbook

****½ (based on 3 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: Martial Arts Handbook

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Combat is a way of life on Golarion—warriors across the world are constantly in search of the next fight, powerful technique, or weapon in order to improve their skills. Pathfinder Player Companion: Martial Arts Handbook offers new archetypes, feats, and equipment for adventurers of all kinds who rely on their physical prowess in combat, whether they turn themselves into living weapons with their punches and kicks or unleash their mastery with nunchaku and swords.

Inside this book you'll find:

  • Fighting styles from across Golarion, including battle dancers, who use impressive maneuvers to dance around foes, and the black powder vaulters of Alkenstar, who use acrobatics to leap across the battlefield!
  • Dozens of new feats for all kinds of martial artists, including feats to improve combat maneuvers and improvised combat, combination feats, and style feats like the high-flying dragonfly style!
  • New abilities that draw upon the innate power of the body, including ki abilities for both qinggong monks and unchained monks, ninja tricks, and kineticist talents!

This Pathfinder Player Companion is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder Campaign Setting, but it can easily be incorporated into any fantasy world.

ISBN-13: 978-1-64078-092-7

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion Subscription.

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****½ (based on 3 ratings)

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Everyone's Kung Fu Fighting

***( )( )

Good solid book with some useful stuff but I am disappointed in the lack of unarmored AC options. Also the kineticist wild talents have ridiculous requirements. I could have thought of wild talents that that fit the martial art theme and didn't need to have multi-class, archetypes, feats, etc.


More than Monks

*****

Honestly, I had low expectations for this book. I mean, with the Brawler and the Monk and a plethora of unarmed options for other classes already existent, where could they go from here?

Boy was I wrong.

This book is A+ material, not only opening up martial arts to even more classes but providing all sorts of truly inspiring character options.
Never before have I given serious thought to being a luchador...


One of the best martial player companions

*****

This book adds a plethora of new martial options for quite a number of classes, even unusual ones. From Occultist and Medium, to the good old Monk and Brawler, 12 classes get new and interesting archetypes to choose from.

Even more exciting is the new feats that add something more important than simply +1 to hit or an increase in damage dice, they add options. Options make combat exciting and let your imagination have a field day envisioning a halfling monk grappling and slamming a dragon into the ground so hard that it scares everyone else nearby. There are new actions you can take for nearly all the core maneuvers that allow for specialists to have quite a few different tools under their belt that are more than simply succeeding at their maneuver check.

In addition, the UnMonk (monk compatible) gets its first grappling focused archetype that lets you literally throw enemies multiple feet away from you while still dealing damage. Combine this with a couple of feats and you'll make them shaken and staggered from the experience!

Want to use that fish-tank as a weapon? What about that loose brick on the ground? Disappointed that improvised weapons are sub-optimal and typically not able to be enchanted? Well this is the book for you! The occultist archetype is entirely based around picking up a frying pan and swinging it around while there are also feats and even a style chain that lets you wield any magical item as an enchanted improvised weapon while also treating them as many steps larger and giving them special weapon qualities.

Always wanted to do a Samurai skilled at the art of the blade and the fist? Pick this book up and become a true master of weaving the two together in a concert of two-weapon fighting destruction.

A new style feat chain allows you to take the simplest of weapons, a stick, and turn it into a deadly and versatile weapon, especially when fighting defensively.

New options also exist for people that just like to roll attack and damage rolls in the form of combination feats. Hitting someone with a piercing weapon? Lower their SR or resistances for each hit. Hitting someone with a blunt weapon? Lower their DR for each hit. Not quite as exciting as the options for maneuvers, but it does allow for some interesting riders on basic attacks.

When they said there were new Qinggong ki powers, they were not kidding. The number of options for Qinggong powers has essentially doubled with this book!

Anyone remember the Chakra system? Well Luis Loza does and boy did he rework the concept to be way more useful. Instead of opening your own chakras, how about you close your opponents and give them some extremely brutal penalties because of it. From removing a creatures flying speed to negating all healing for 1min, to finally making it roll 2d20 for all rolls and take the lowest.

Want your kinetic fist or elemental ascetic kineticist to go PLUS ULTRA!? Pick up Gather Might to buff all your physical ability scores instead of reducing burn cost. Take some new infusions to learn a style strike or some other various House of Perfection influenced abilities.

You might have noticed that this is, as far as I know, the first Paizo book that allows characters other than UnMonks to learn style strikes!

Finally, Unarmed characters have a new alternative to the Amulet of Mighty Fists and the Bodywrap of Mighty Strikes that we actually want. Handwraps. Let's be real, this has taken far too long, but I'm glad to finally see these. Basically, these are just brass knuckles that let you use your unarmed strikes damage dice. This is huge, monks before this item were better at using weapons than unarmed strikes because it costed half as much to enchant them even though you had the same number of attacks with either.


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6 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Extemporaneous Channeler (Occultist) Uncle from Jackie Chan Adventures.

I love this description. I absolutely was checking out Jackie Chan for inspiration for this section.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Extemporaneous Channeler (Occultist) Uncle from Jackie Chan Adventures.
I love this description. I absolutely was checking out Jackie Chan for inspiration for this section.

Really? Yay!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Drake Dethalion wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Ranger3462 wrote:
Any word on if this helps the Ninja Rogue Alternate class at all? I know it suffered from not being unchained for easy dex-to-damage, plus other things. The descriptions would seem to indicate it, but it might all just be monk stuff they assume you'll use.
There's a couple of normal and advanced Ninja Tricks.
Gotcha, so nothing as revolutionary as a full unchaining?

There's this from Spymaster's Handbook.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Cheers Rysky, you rock.

Any chance of some more information on the shifter?

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Throne wrote:

Cheers Rysky, you rock.

Any chance of some more information on the shifter?

^w^

Their Aspects are based on the original style feat chains (Boar, Crane, Tiger, etc) and their abilities mesh with those Styles. When gaining Style Feats they can instead leave it open as a Wildcard so that when they Shift they get the Style Feats associated with that Aspect. They also apply Unarmed Strike Feats to their Shifter Claws.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

All of those descriptions make me happy, Rysky ^_^

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
DeciusNero wrote:
All of those descriptions make me happy, Rysky ^_^

Yay! Glad to be of service ^w^


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Oh my, this book is really chock-full of options. They surely didn't waste much time on flavor text and fully concentrated on crunch. :) I love the Samurai archetype, which replaces the mount and some other abilities with really good alternatives.


Does the Gunslinger archetype stack with Pistolero (or any other archetype, for that matter)?

Liberty's Edge

Throne wrote:
Does the Gunslinger archetype stack with Pistolero (or any other archetype, for that matter)?

It replaces quite a large number of deeds, including deadeye, so it can't stack with Pistolero.

It does stack with gun scavenger, but I think that's the only one it does stack with.

replaces deadeye, gunslinger's dodge, gunslinger's initiative, startling shot, and expert loading


Are there any feats or abilities that allow for an unusual weapon to become a Monk Weapon for purposes of Flurry?

I know the usual trick would be to dip cleric for a particular diety/Weapon, but I kind of hate that myself.... lol

Liberty's Edge

TClegg1024 wrote:

Are there any feats or abilities that allow for an unusual weapon to become a Monk Weapon for purposes of Flurry?

I know the usual trick would be to dip cleric for a particular diety/Weapon, but I kind of hate that myself.... lol

I don't see any unfortunately.


Could I get more info on vigilante? what does it replace and what's the oni powers like? do you get much from a 1-4 level dip?

Liberty's Edge

I hate to say it, but the vigilante archetype doesn't quite work right, just like most other vigilante archetypes currently.

So, a 1 level dip is pretty good if you have standard vision because while in your vigilante identity, you'll get darkvision and low-light vision. Downside is that you have to be non-good while in that identity. You also gain improved unarmed strike with some damage scaling identical to Fist of the Avenger.

At 4th level you get alter self for minutes/level per day, but at 6th level you gain a gore attack while in your vigilante identity. At 12th level you get eye beams level per day as a swift action.

The reason this doesn't work well is because you get IUS, but then get alter self > Giant From that give you natural attacks instead of needing IUS. You then get a gore attack while not polymorphed, but when used with US it'll take a -5 penalty to hit.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
zer0darkfire wrote:

I hate to say it, but the vigilante archetype doesn't quite work right, just like most other vigilante archetypes currently.

So, a 1 level dip is pretty good if you have standard vision because while in your vigilante identity, you'll get darkvision and low-light vision. Downside is that you have to be non-good while in that identity. You also gain improved unarmed strike with some damage scaling identical to Fist of the Avenger.

At 4th level you get alter self for minutes/level per day, but at 6th level you gain a gore attack while in your vigilante identity. At 12th level you get eye beams level per day as a swift action.

The reason this doesn't work well is because you get IUS, but then get alter self > Giant From that give you natural attacks instead of needing IUS. You then get a gore attack while not polymorphed, but when used with US it'll take a -5 penalty to hit.

It works just fine because the Giant Form only lasts in minutes per level, whereas the US and Gore attacks are always on.


Question on the handwraps... Can you still use the hands for other things, or do you need to slip them on and off like gloves?

And if the hand is occupied, presumably they're just the move action to put on much like readying any other weapon?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Hmm, good question, I don't know about un/equipping them but I'd say they work just like in RL where you retain the use of your fingers.


I'm assuming the line about weaving coins and bars to get special material bonuses allows you to 'specific overrides general' 'this material cannot be used for items not normally made of metal' restrictions... but how much would mithral-woven handwraps cost?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I'd say 500g gold (I believe there's a ruling on Mithral items with n/a weight somehwere), since they're Masterwork.

Liberty's Edge

Rysky wrote:
zer0darkfire wrote:

I hate to say it, but the vigilante archetype doesn't quite work right, just like most other vigilante archetypes currently.

So, a 1 level dip is pretty good if you have standard vision because while in your vigilante identity, you'll get darkvision and low-light vision. Downside is that you have to be non-good while in that identity. You also gain improved unarmed strike with some damage scaling identical to Fist of the Avenger.

At 4th level you get alter self for minutes/level per day, but at 6th level you gain a gore attack while in your vigilante identity. At 12th level you get eye beams level per day as a swift action.

The reason this doesn't work well is because you get IUS, but then get alter self > Giant From that give you natural attacks instead of needing IUS. You then get a gore attack while not polymorphed, but when used with US it'll take a -5 penalty to hit.

It works just fine because the Giant Form only lasts in minutes per level, whereas the US and Gore attacks are always on.

Yes, but minutes a level will last you for most combats in a day, so instead of having a lot of features that work well together, you have ones that are just in bits and pieces. It's definitely neat, but I'm really salty about most vigilante archetypes being disappointing, and two of the best ones, this one and agathiel, have weird abilities that don't always work together well.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
zer0darkfire wrote:
Rysky wrote:
zer0darkfire wrote:

I hate to say it, but the vigilante archetype doesn't quite work right, just like most other vigilante archetypes currently.

So, a 1 level dip is pretty good if you have standard vision because while in your vigilante identity, you'll get darkvision and low-light vision. Downside is that you have to be non-good while in that identity. You also gain improved unarmed strike with some damage scaling identical to Fist of the Avenger.

At 4th level you get alter self for minutes/level per day, but at 6th level you gain a gore attack while in your vigilante identity. At 12th level you get eye beams level per day as a swift action.

The reason this doesn't work well is because you get IUS, but then get alter self > Giant From that give you natural attacks instead of needing IUS. You then get a gore attack while not polymorphed, but when used with US it'll take a -5 penalty to hit.

It works just fine because the Giant Form only lasts in minutes per level, whereas the US and Gore attacks are always on.
Yes, but minutes a level will last you for most combats in a day, so instead of having a lot of features that work well together, you have ones that are just in bits and pieces. It's definitely neat, but I'm really salty about most vigilante archetypes being disappointing, and two of the best ones, this one and agathiel, have weird abilities that don't always work together well.

Most but not all. US and the Gore are something to fall back on when you're not using the Shapeshifting for whatever reason (ran out, can't, etc)


There is some synergy between scaling unarmed damage and giant form: Size increase is basically a multiplier on damage, so it's great when the damage die are big before multiplying. As Rysky pointed out, you can also combine unarmed and the gore attack (it's not flurry of blows, after all). But otherwise the archetype sounds a bit like patchwork indeed.

Now patchwork can still be a blast in actual play, so I'd give it a try.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

*nods*

I prefer when a character's stuff isn't all in one bucket, so to speak.


Honestly I like a couple of the combination feats that might make my paladin better at fighting.

Course fighting giants might go better if I had a really high AC and you know, not a Dex score of 10. But still!


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This book is absolutely fantastic, there's so many interesting ideas just jam-packed into it that I'm never going to be able to use because there's too many character ideas. It kind of makes me feel bad that I'm still disappointed by Gather Might and Enduring Might, since there's so much other cool stuff that I should be able to ignore it.


Am I reading things wrong or does stacking shikigami style feats+ catch of guard turn the 1gp sledge tool into a 6d6 weapon?


So much great stuff here. I really wish for the book to be approved for PFS ASAP.

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